Dating after divorce is just one aspect of your plan going forward.
Good, you understand that. You know that as a newly independent woman there are many things you need to address right now, and that maybe, just maybe dating shouldn’t be your first priority … But, another part of you is thinking,“Yeah, uh, huh, BUT! WHAT ABOUT dating? When will I be ready? Why isn’t it happening already?”
Well, for those of you (for us) who cannot wait, here’s a list, Dating After Divorce in 10 Steps, because, we are heavy into the steps metaphor, and we know you are curious. We know a part of you needs to know IF you can do this. Can you trust again?
What must I do to get out there?
1. Create your mission
What is your intention? What are you looking for? Maybe you are saying, you are looking to …
- Dip my toe in the fishing pool (why is everyone a tadpole?)
- Find a companion to do things with
- Not set the bar too high, really, but just go out to dinner with an adult who can use a fork and knife
- I’d like to spend the night with someone (let’s not beat around the bush)
- I just need to fill the empty. I am scared to be alone (that’s ok, just pause and give yourself time to be alone with it)
Note: “I’m Looking for My Soul Mate (Again)” is not an option.
2. Write your mission down
But wait, what if I don’t know if I am really ready?
No one says you have to. You are free.
Isn’t that one of the most beautiful sentences? Think about it. You are free. You can date if you want. Or not. But, oh, if you want … YOU CAN DO IT!
We are not saying that stepping into the crazy world of dating is not daunting. It is cra-zee, scary sometimes, confusing, and over-hyped. We know it summons up all kinds of fears. But let’s not stay in that place, reviewing what we know. Let’s live. Let’s move.
3. So, reread what you wrote for Step Number 2
4. Brainstorm a list
Write down potential locales, situations, friends, and dating platforms that can help you meet someone. Online dating is the best way to find someone, based on our experiences. But you can also join a softball team, go to the bar, prowl the bookstore, hang out in a museum, or linger at the produce counter, channelling movies scenes.
5. Research online dating
If you are one who exhausts all resources by researching the very best way to do virtually everything, than have at it … make a case-study. Evaluate which dating platform you might use. Interview your single friends, and consider these 2 studies comparing different dating platforms. They help you understand a lot in advance of committing (and boy, do we like that idea).
- One is provided by Consumer Affairs
- The other, “The Best Online Dating Sites” is compiled by Reviews.com
6. Test your hypothesis
Remember, after all your googling, contrasting and comparing the best ways to date, you still have to try it out– which means conducting field work. You can spend hours inside creating your online profile, or better yet, asking your best divorce friend to author a juicier one, but accept that at some point, you must leave your house for anecdotal material.
7. Get your blood circulating
In case you hadn’t noticed, all action starts with effort. So start your action truly by going for a walk, and not to meet him either, but to find sunlight. To get your endorphins going. To connect with nature. Sunlight, exercise, and nature have an incredible impact on our psyche and well-being. They make things begin to look up like sunflowers. You are starting to look up. In fact, you are positively radiating positivity!
8. Prepare your mind
Read the newspaper headlines, watch the news, read a book, so you have something to talk about other than your job, your kids, or your divorce (the worse!). Seems obvious, but those subjects are tedious to everyone but you.
9. Then do it
Say yes to someone who asks you out for drinks. Or a cup of coffee, or a brioche, or God knows what. But something short and simple, see? Let it happen in a public place like a restaurant or bar, so you can enjoy it (if necessary, briefly and make a fast getaway) or leave an opening for the possibility of dinner — if fried mozzarella sticks suddenly sound more appealing than Netflix at home. (He’s got to be quite a guy.)
10. Afterwards, be fair to him/her and to yourself
Did he seem in alignment with your mission? Were you turned on by him? Could he be a friend? Did he make you laugh at least? Thank him, and let him know within 24 hours if you will be seeing him again or not, and then think about all you’ve learned. What is it that you have learned if you had to reduce it to a one-phrase headline?
Ok, I’ll tell you. It’s: Yes, you CAN!
Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of divorce. Whether you navigating divorce or already rebuilding your life after the overwhelming experience, one thing making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not reinvent alone.
Schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation with SAS. Tell us confidentially what’s going on, and we’ll give you black & white feedback, resources and suggestions for your next steps.